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How Color Can Speak Loudly in Your Wardrobe


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Style books and blogs are the next best things to a little stylist living in our closet!  They exist to help us discover how to look and feel our best.  I always glean something from each one I read, and am anxious to share with you the lessons learned.  Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Lookis my latest read and has many good guidelines for us to consider as we learn how to be uniquely awesome for a variety of lifestyles.

Color in Wardrobe

These midlife authors, Janna Beatty and Sharon White, combine years of working with women as image consultants.  They follow the same basic principal I learned 12 years ago…like it or not our clothing choices send messages about us.  “Studies show that up to 95% of the messages we convey are nonverbal.  That means people are more likely to believe information cues based on how we look, rather than what we say.”  Their book includes important information from body proportion lessons to closet control; but, the most interesting chapter for me included some different takes on wearing colors.  Beatty finds that in her experience “a very small percentage of people consistently wear their most flattering colors.”  She believes the truth is anyone can wear any color provided it is the correct shade and the correct clarity.

“Clarity is the element in color that describes how bright, dull, or toned down it is.  Determining clarity is foundational for deciding which colors harmonize with each other and, more importantly with the individual. If you wear colors with too little clarity (dull) they can dim you down, while colors with too much clarity (too bright) may overpower you.”  The way to test your clothing for correct clarity is simply to place the garment at your face and ask, “Does this color compliment my skin and eyes, or is it dull and drab?”

They include a sidebar showing the messages different colors communicate.  Here are a few:

“BLUE – The majority of people say blue is their favorite color.  It is perceived as social, friendly, approachable and trustworthy.

RED – Red is the second most popular color.  It is an adrenal stimulant and is often used to symbolize passion, sexiness, danger and rebellion.

PINK – Pink relays a message of femininity, romance and caring.

PURPLE – Highly symbolic.  It can look royal and elegant, or light and fresh and young.

ORANGE – Orange is energetic, exuberant, and warm, but may be perceived as less sophisticated, and perhaps not as luxurious looking by those in higher social classes. “

Choice of colors can determine if you are the life of the party or simply blend in….according to the book.  The color chapter is thorough so you will need to pick up the book in order to take it all in.  I am still pondering how I feel about their take on neutrals.  I do love my neutrals, but I am always open to a new opinion.  Curious?  It is in the book.

What are your favorite colors to wear and why?  Do you often take a courageous step out of your comfort zone with a color?

Please share your thoughts…and thanks so much for stopping by the Joy Boutique! Have a wonderful week, everyone.


Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Janna Beatty

Wednesday 9th of September 2015

Pamela THANKS for the terrific review! For more color information go to and click on the information tab at the top of the page. Janna Beatty co-author Quintessential Style


Wednesday 9th of September 2015

Neutrals make up the base, core of my wardrobe and I use color in accessories. Color is such an important part of our look. Plus they change our emotions!!


Wednesday 9th of September 2015

I wear a LOT of black. On the colour side, I wear a lot of red and a lot of bright clear blues (turquoise, cornflower, sky blue, etc). I really don't like orange, yellow, or pink; those are colours I never wear. I'd like to see what the book says about neutrals; I think camel and grey can be such elegant colours when worn correctly (and such drab, draining colours when worn incorrectly). Like you, I devour books on Style, so I'll get this one too! xx

Barbara Torris

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

I love the very clear bright colors and will buy them. But they have to live in my closet with my black, white and taupe for a while. I need for them to meet each other and become friends. I think seeing them hanging out together makes me less afraid of looking like a clown. What ever the reason, it all works for me and we are all happy.


Elaine @ Following Augustine

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

Like you, I tend to gravitate toward neutrals, but I'm becoming more adventurous and beginning to introduce bolder colours into my wardrobe.

Elaine @ Following Augustine

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